Flying Times

Amazing how fast time flies these days, it seems like just yesterday we were prepping for the summer ………… last summer. It might be cold outside today (late December 2022), but when our camp starts in June 2023 I’m hoping it will be lush and green, blue skies and a comfortable 80 degrees.

As some you have come to expect by now, I usually write a short personal essay on being a father to my kids (still three) and this year, to the dozens and dozens of kids I coach at OYA throughout the winter. I’d like to tell you how fulfilled I get as a father raising my kids, but what really warms me these days is the interactions I have coaching on Friday nights throughout the winter with the kids you all send me. My kids are wonderful, three uniquely different kids and ages; one in college, one in a school for special needs, and one in pre-school. Each needing different support; all doing ok, all lots of fun in their individual ways.
The kids I get to interact with on Friday are just like my kids; all different. The difference though, is the time I get with the kids I coach on Friday nights. I get these little people for an hour, usually for six weeks straight – it flies by. Sometimes I get them for several sessions back to back, but in half the cases just six weeks, not much time. My personal goal is for them to leave after the first hour with a clear understanding of who I am. Somebody they can trust, somebody that makes them smile, somebody who knows their name, and somebody they’d like to see again. If I can be that person, everybody wins, especially the kids. This is how I want every child that visits our summer camp to feel after the first day of camp. Camp is only a week long, our goal is to make that week really special.

Time will fly faster as your kids get older. If you think it’s going quickly now, just wait until middle school and high school.

Those two timeframes will be gone in a blink.

Philip / OYA founder, OYA coach, OYA lead camp guy, dad of three …………

Looking forward to seeing your kids this summer!

The summer of 2023 is right around the corner and it’s time to start planning camp for the kids.

We are planning on running full weeks (Monday through Friday) of camp the weeks of:
June 19, June 26, July 5 (3 day week: July 5, 6, 7) July 10, July 17, July 24, July 31, August 7 and August 14.

Half day – 9:00 am to 12:00 pm – $140/week
Full day – 9:00 am to 4:00 pm – $245/week

Working Parents

We recognize the need to have your children cared for earlier than our 9:00 am camp start time. If you are a working parent, you are welcome to drop off your child (children) as early as 7:45 am any camp day while our staff gets ready for the day. There is no charge for this convenience. This summer we will not be serving breakfast to campers before camp. Families are welcome to pack a breakfast for the children being dropped off early, we’ll help the kids if needed.

Parents needing extra time after 4:00 pm do not need to sign up. Extra care automatically starts at 4:15 pm @ $1 per 15 minutes. We’ll be here hanging out with all children, if you work until 5 pm and can’t get to OYA till 5:15 pm or after its ok, we’ll keep your child safe and sound (and fed). Each day you’ll sign out your child and on Friday we’ll run the credit card we have on account accordingly for the extra time @ $1 per 15 minute block after 4:15 pm. Nothing complicated. It’s our suggestion to let us know, but more importantly, let your child know when you plan on picking them up daily.


On Monday morning our camp directors will divide up the kids in camp into three age’s groups. Parent input is openly accepted. The age groups will be 5, 6, 7 (sophomores) 8, 9, 10, 11 (juniors) and 12, 13 (seniors). The senior group will have a home base of operation inside the dome. This senior program is called ‘Camp-X’. On Monday morning, kids will be put into ‘cabins’ based on their ages. Kids coming to camp with friends will be put together. Once these groups are established, they’ll be assigned a lead counselor for the week.

Every morning each cabin will get together and start their day of fun. Learning each other’s names will be lovingly required. Kids can expect every day to be different from the previous day. One activity each morning, and if the kids stay all day, one more activity in the afternoon. Throughout both morning and afternoon sessions kids will have those extra activities to look forward to like the slip-n-slide, magic shows, big games vs. coaches, daily sand castle building contests, joke and story time, visiting the patio bar for a cold drink of lemonade or fruit punch…..

Kids attending our summer day camp can expect to participate in lots of well thought out activities throughout the week. Sports programming will be coached so kids who haven’t played that particular sport will understand the rules, be taught the strategies on how to play the game with confidence, shown the basic skills needed to be competitive, and most importantly they’ll be put into the action with teammates so they understand the team chemistry. When it’s their time to drop into a class that’s not team structured or athletic at all, they’ll be shown how to do things with one-on-one attention.

We want all children to have fun first and foremost, this is our goal and guarantee.


Kids staying for the whole day can now bring their own lunch this year! Monday is pizza day for all kids staying for the afternoon and Tuesday is BBQ day. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, kids bring their own lunch. All drinks throughout the week are provided. Friday is ice cream sundae day for all campers (morning kids and afternoon kids).   No nuts please – we are a peanut free zone!   If your child has a special food request on days we provide food (e.g., gluten-free pizza), please email or add a comment in the sign-up registration information.

All sophomores (kids ages 5 to 7) will participate in the following activities weekly:
All juniors (kids ages 8 to 11) will participate in the following activities weekly:


Painting will be a really big focus for this activity. Easels, smocks, objects to reproduce on paper. If our campers are anything like our kids, this painting program will be a big hit.

Our resident art teacher will give shading, dimension and depth instructions to all the kids. Having these as goals is certainly going to help these budding painters enjoy their time with their brush.


We’ll have the time to teach the kids how to whip up a batch of brownies from scratch. No boxes here. Maybe oatmeal raisin cookies or sugar cookies cut like Santa, why not.

Kids will get their own bowls, mixers, ingredients, then its judgment time just like the Great British Baking Show … sort of. Lots of laughs this hour, and hopefully some snacks too.


We’ll be using our battery powered cars, half the kids will drive while the other half will assist with road set-up, road repair and battery installation and recharging. Half way through the kids will switch.

Kids will get to test their driving chops in our car town course throughout the facility. Kids achieving ‘moderate successes’ will be issued drivers licenses, those with questionable skills will need to wait till they take the camp again.


The best part of being an archeologist in our minds is the digging part. Who cares about the cataloging and the organizing of your expedition team, sounds boring, just give me a shovel!

Since we can’t go to North Dakota, we’ll go to our sand pits, just as cool, lots easier to get to. A full on ‘dino dig’ will be ready when the kids get to this activity. Plaster Paris casts will be formed on all finds.


Small clubs, lots of golf balls, no pressure to perform. Kids will be taught how to hold the club correctly, proper foot stance, and ‘eyes on the ball’ importance.

To make this activity fun, we’re going to dress up Marty in a rabbit suit during the driving portion so the kids can have a meaningful target. Marty doesn’t know this yet, but he’s a gamer. Kids will love it!


Air power can pack a punch, water pressure is stronger than most people understand. We’ll teach both of these principles using rockets. All kids will get to use their own rocket in their attempt to hit the ceiling in the dome.

Once they master this they’ll use them as mock ballistic ICBM’s and try to hit targets down range.


Our Lego box is definitively the biggest Lego collection in the County. This activity will be a welcome relief from the movement of the other sports activities.

A swing by the patio bartender for a cold lemonade before kids drive into the box will be a must.


First grab your goggles, next divide into teams, check your ammo, get your blaster ready, put on your bib, huddle up and get your armies plan, then it’s time to capture the flag in the opposing armies castle.

Every kid loves this activity … battles don’t last long, but boy are they exhilarating. We’ll teach kids the tactics to stay in the game, whether they listen to our advice is a whole other question. Kids get sweaty in this activity.


Two teams on the mini-field, that’s the set-up! The goal, teach the kids how to stay on their side if assigned to be a winger, move up and down as a single unit to attack and to defend, all ‘eyes on the ball’ so they can react as a single unit, and lastly how to communicate with each other so they score and defend.

The ball control will come over time, but these foundational principles of the game will get them started on the road to success.

     & GAMES

kickball, bottle battle, t-ball, capture-the-flag, soccer, touch football, basketball (low hoops), and karate.


Four teams of kids will get identical clues – riddles, poems, maps, symbols – they’ll have to put their heads together to find the booty.

Several progressively more difficult problems will be presented to the treasure hunters for this activity. Teams will be shuffled for each new expedition.


We’ll be monitoring the weather each week for this activity – the hotter the better. New this year we’ll be building ‘water balloon launching’ command centers all around OYA. These H20CC’s will be capable of sending water balloons deep into enemy territory. Coupled with the hand held mega sprays, and the other water blasters we’ll have on hand, we’ll have the fixin’s for some wild water battles.

Soldier’s, Commanders, and Generals will work together to soak the other armies. Got a wet shirt, you’re out …


We will prepare all of the kids to safely operate, and most importantly be safe around someone using a bow and arrow. Breathing, aiming and firing an arrow on target will be taught.

Real arrows with metal tips, compound and ‘old school’ bows will be used, paper targets and 3D targets will be down range. Safety is a big part of our archery range, kids will not forget the training they’ll receive.


Lots of fun, tasty treats, what else do we need to say. Everything they make will need to be measured accurately, precision counts in baking.

This will be a really fun hour, a ‘no judgment’ zone will be strictly enforced.


Homerun fencing will be set up for this game. Kids wanting to be pitched to is good by us, kids wanting to smash the ball off the tee is good by us too …. Working together as a team will be our priority. All three games certainly require kids to catch, throw and bat, but they also require communication and team work.

Games will be played in the dome, with the fence, on turf. All equipment will be there, ready for the kids to use; gloves, bats, helmets …


This will be a fun session of letting some steam off.

Shooting competitions, relay races, and a game.


One of our serious activities (sort of). The grip, the stance, the follow through, eyes on the ball, these are the basics to golf. All kids will try throughout the activity with irons and drivers that fit.

From experience, if you have a golf glove at home please send it. We’ll remind all kids about this the day before golf.


It’s our goal to teach all of the kids a different magic trick every week. When they ask you for that empty beer bottle and a quarter, don’t be surprised when they put the quarter into the bottle. Try it, it doesn’t fit. There’s a trick to it … magic.

Oh, there’s more …


Small teams, big teams, storm the castle, last man standing, capture-the-flag – we’ll play them all. Like the little kids, this game gets sweaty.

All players will use the same identical blaster, no outside blasters from home allowed.

All kids will wear eye protection. This activity might be played twice each week due to its extreme popularity.


We anticipate going back to this activity the next day to launch the rockets, but the first part will be all about the construction. Every kid will get an Estes Rocket kit of their own. Slowing down for the activity will be important, as will hands on and one-on-one instruction as kids go step by step to build a launch ready rocket. We expect kids to take home their rockets for home decoration.

Launch day will be the next day first thing in the morning (weather depending).


The laws of gravity will be fully pushed to their limits during this crazy window. Our resident biology teacher / Dr. Frankenstein’s great, great, great, great niece will have the kids in stiches (figuratively).

Propellants might be used, wink, wink …


These kids will play on a 9v9 field with age appropriate 6’x18’ goals. The same fundamental principles taught to the younger kids will be coached here – own their side of the field, attack up and defend down as a unit, head-up with eyes on the ball, lastly communicate.

This unit of soccer will be a fun, yet serious game with the goal of imparting the above foundational principles on all the kids.


Teams of three will be read the clues, shown the evidence, then asked to solve the crime. If your kid thinks he/she’s a good detective, this hour of crime busting will either humble them or blow up their ego even larger.

One kid will act as the impartial judge when the teams return from the field with their findings. Every week there will be new crimes to solve, lots of nefarious activities go down at OYA at night.


We’ll be monitoring the weather each week for this activity – the hotter the better. New this year we’ll be building ‘water balloon launching’ command centers all around OYA. These H20CC’s will be capable of sending water balloons deep into enemy territory. Coupled with the hand held mega sprays, and the other water blasters we’ll have on hand, we’ll have the fixin’s for some wild water battles.

Soldier’s, Commanders, and Generals will work together to soak the other armies. Got a wet shirt, you’re out …


We think it’s time to give the kids some freedoms. Until they prove us differently, we’re going to guide them throughout the week, not dictate to them - help them have some fun within the confines of OYA. Camp X will be based inside the main dome, a walled inside community space especially designed for the kids. Drum kit, electric guitar with amp, pool table, video games, and couches – their own base camp that only Camp X kids can enter. No younger kids are allowed inside, no CIT’s are allowed inside, just the Camp X kids and their guide. Camp X’ers can move throughout the facility respectfully, jumping in and out of the junior’s activities as they please. In addition to the slip-n-slide, kids can use the ropes course and patio bar anytime. The patio bartender will know the kids, they can belly up to the bar anytime for a drink and listen to some music. The only obligation the kids will be under the week will be one team building activity designed to give the kids confidence in settings where they are strangers.

For lunch, everyday we’ll slip the Camp X guide some cash so they can walk to one of the many fast food restaurants nearby.

This week of camp is a reward for the almost, and newly minted teenager. It’s an opportunity for these aspiring young adults to prove to us and you parents that they can stay home alone, that they can be trusted to do the right thing. We’ll update all of the Camp X parents after each week with a confidential assessment card, nothing too personal, just a note telling the parents how their kid did when granted the freedom to think and act independently.

Summer Camp for kids 12 and 13 year-olds (Camp–X)

This week of camp could also be called ‘freedom week’, or ‘thank goodness I’m out of the house’, or ‘man … my mom is driving me crazy’ … .

This week of camp we’ll give the kids the latitude they’ve missed this past year, they’ll be given the chance to hang-out with new kids and hopefully new friends. They’ll build stuff with tools, launch stuff into the air, eat fast food for lunch, play pool or ping-pong, or cornhole, or soccer, or use the slip-n-slide, or battle each other on Friday with nerf guns. Like I said, they’ll call this week something other than what we would. To us, it's ‘big kids camp’, to them it’s just freedom … .

This camp is strictly limited to 15 kids per week. Camp-X is Monday through Friday 9:00 am to 4:00 pm only. Cost per week is $245.

All seniors will have the freedom of choice ………… this is Camp-X!

If you would like to chat more about what camp this summer will look like, feel free to reach out to us!

Philip at   248 761 1220 or

Marty at   248 673 0100 or